Housing with Pele, Gerrard, Best & Southgate. But who's the odd one out?
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
We know that footballers are always cheating, diving, maiming and eating each other. But did you know there’s a good side to these occasionally cannibalistic multi-millionaires, if you look hard enough?
So look hard at the following in our regular Fact or Fiction feature.
One of the following six profiles is entirely made up, apart from their name of course. Can you score by finding out which one?
1 Angel Rangel
The interestingly named Swansea City defender caused a Twitter commotion when he took to the streets in an attempt to feed the homeless - with some people tweeting that the Spanish player’s behaviour was in danger of giving footballers a good name. Unable to find any homeless people sleeping rough because of severe cold, the player and his wife, Nikki, eventually settled for a homeless shelter they were invited to via Twitter. Rangel explained that it was his wife’s idea after the pair learned that a food chain tossed its leftover food away.
2 Sir Bobby Robson
That most cynical of species, football journalists, loved the former Ipswich, Newcastle, Barcelona and England manager, who died of cancer in 2009 aged 76. Unfailingly polite and always accessible, Sir Bobby was also the mentor of Jose Mourinho, though reporters noticed the Special One’s translations weren’t always word-for-word. And the housing connection? His widow, Lady Elsie Robson, opened a new affordable housing scheme by the Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) in his beloved North East. Sir Bobby performed a similar ceremony for the association in 2001. Or did he? And did she?
3 Steven Gerrard
The Liverpool player might not get on too well in nightclubs but he’s a real sport when it comes to launching new housing schemes. The England captain returned to his home town of Huyton last month to mark the start of work at Bluebell Park - a 101-home scheme for over 55s who need extra care and support to live independently. The 32-year-old midfielder got a bit emotional: “Huyton is where it all began for me and a lot of my family and friends live there so I am still there quite a bit. It’s great to see they are improving the area, and this will create many more jobs for people locally as well.”
No, not arguably the greatest footballer of all time (if you don’t count Shrewsbury Town defender Matt ‘Fatty’ Redmile) but the acronym of a campaign group near Peebles (no relation to former Radio 1 DJ Andy Peebles). Protect Eddleston’s Landscape & Environment (Pele) is a “community-based group, representing the village of Eddleston and its surrounding area on all topics that might have an impact on our shared environment and landscape”.
5 George Best
George Best was so good that his moves used to fool his own team mates. Despite the demon drink (during one match it’s claimed Best did not know what the score was), his silky skills dazzled the world. In Best’s native land, a community group has opened up his childhood house. The George Best B&B selfcatering accommodation, on the Cregagh estate, is “a brownstone post-war terraced house with three bedrooms, a small kitchen and tiny dining area adjoined to the living room,” the Guardian reported. Housing co-operative East Belfast Partnership started the project. Best sadly died in 2005 at only 59.
6 Gareth Southgate
The bungling penalty-taker and subsequent TV pizza salesman has managed to forge an image of pleasant equanimity in his post-footballing punditry career. However, the former Aston Villa star hasn’t always been so agreeable. Whilst a Middlesbrough player, Southgate successfully blocked an application for a 210-home social rent development, on the grounds that its construction would significantly lower the value of his 15-bedroom mansion more than three miles away. The local council defended its willingness to kowtow to the defiant defender’s demands thusly: “He has done a lot for this area and it would clearly not be in our interests to upset Mr Southgate.”
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